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5 Ways Charlotte Bobcats Can Guarantee a First-Round Win in 2014 NBA Playoffs

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5 Ways The Charlotte Bobcats Can Guarantee A First-Round Win

Kemba Walker, Charlotte Bobcats
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Believe it or not, the Charlotte Bobcats are back in the playoffs after a four-year hiatus. But their return to the postseason may bring perils, as the Bobcats will be matched up against either the struggling Indiana Pacers or the defending champion Miami Heat. So how can the Cats' guarantee themselves a trip to the second round? Read on to find out.

5. 'Big Al' Must Dominate

Al Jefferson, Charlotte Bobcats
Jeremy Brevard - USA Today Sports

5. 'Big Al' Must Dominate

Al Jefferson, Charlotte Bobcats
Jeremy Brevard - USA Today Sports

A big reason why the Bobcats are once again playing postseason basketball is due to the career year forward Al Jefferson has turned in for Charlotte. If the Bobcats are to have a chance of upsetting the powerhouses in the East, Jefferson will have to dominate the paint against the fragile Pacers and the height challenged Heat.

4. Kemba Walker Must Dominate The Opposing Point Guard

Kemba Walker, Charlotte Bobcats
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

4. Kemba Walker Must Dominate The Opposing Point Guard

Kemba Walker, Charlotte Bobcats
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Neither the Pacers nor the Heat have point guards who can keep up with Kemba Walker, so it should be imperative that Walker dominates the match-up against the opposing point guards. If he can control the flow of the game, the Bobcats will be looking good at pulling out an upset.

3. Defense First, Defense Second

Bismack Biyombo, Charlotte Bobcats
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

3. Defense First, Defense Second

Bismack Biyombo, Charlotte Bobcats
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Bobcats' defense has taken a hit of late, but it is still regarded as one of the best in the NBA. Charlotte is going to have to rely on their ball-hawking defense to make it to round two.

2. MKG Must Bring His Defensive A-Game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Bobcats
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

2. MKG Must Bring His Defensive A-Game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Bobcats
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The assignment of trying to slow down either Indiana's Paul George or Miami's LeBron James will fall on the shoulders of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte's best one-on-one defender. MKG has to bring his defensive A-game if the Cats' hope to get out of the first round.

1. Win On The Road

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, LeBron James, Charlotte Bobcats
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

1. Win On The Road

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, LeBron James, Charlotte Bobcats
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana and Miami are two of the toughest towns in the NBA to leave with a road win. But if the Charlotte Bobcats hope to move one round closer to bringing a championship to Charlotte, the Bobcats will have to take one of the first two games on the road.

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